Chronicled in Judges
Everyone has a weakness. Call it a thorn in the flesh, if you will. Samson was no different from most people in this area of life. We all struggle at some point in our existence. His weakness was women. You see, Samson was easily enticed by the opposite sex. If a woman batted her eyes enough or stroked his ego enough, he was putty in her hands. No good could come of this for Samson. He made very poor decisions where women were involved.
So, who was Samson? He was a promised son to Manoah and his wife. An angel of the Lord prophesied of a son’s coming. The angel left very specific instructions that this boy be raised as a Nazirite to God from the womb. The woman was not to eat of the vine, nor drink wine or any similar drink. She was not to eat any “unclean” thing. The boy would be reared this way as well and was never to let a razor touch his hair. Manoah and his wife did as instructed.
Samson was born and, as he grew, the Lord blessed him with great strength. Samson carried out his Nazirite vow until adulthood. Then women were introduced to the story and trouble came with them. Samson went to Timnah and saw a young lady there, a Philistine. After speaking with the young lass, Samson was immediately enraptured and sought her as his wife. His first mistake was to marry outside of his “tribe,” especially to a Philistine, the mortal enemies of the Israelites. But, like any man with love in his heart, Samson would not be denied.
On his first trip to Timnah, he encountered a lion, which Samson ripped apart with his bare hands. Upon his return, he saw that bees had set up in the beast’s carcass and he took some honey and ate it, even giving some to his parents (unbeknownst to them that this honey was “unclean”). Mistake number two: he broke one of his Nazirite vows. The marriage did not work out as planned. Samson’s young wife used information against him to benefit her people. Samson had enmity with the Philistines as a result. He captured and used 300 foxes to burn down the Philistine crops and slew 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
Samson then fell into the arms of another woman, Delilah, who would be his ultimate ruin. Delilah was dispatched by the lords of the Philistines to “entice him” in order to gain knowledge of his great strength. She eventually wore Samson down and he confessed of his Nazirite vow and having never shaved his hair. After his hair was cut, his strength departed, he was captured, and his eyes were gouged out. Samson then became a grinder in prison.
The Philistines celebrated in their pagan temple, mocking Samson and forcing him to “perform” for them. In a final feat of strength, after he called upon the Lord, Samson pushed down the supporting pillars of the temple, collapsing it and killing them all (himself included). In his last act, he had redeemed himself and regained the God-given power he had let slip away.
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Never forget that real strength comes from God.